Tuesday, December 26, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He offered Kwanzaa greetings.

Of course, in and of itself, there is nothing wrong with a president issuing a (very) brief statement acknowledging the start of the week-long celebration of African heritage. Every president since at least Bill Clinton has done so. 

But Trump was against Kwanzaa before he was against it. He falsely accused then-president Obama in 2011 of acknowledging Kwanzaa but not Christmas. 

More recently, he's reinvented himself as the savior of Christmas by turning "merry Christmas" into a political code phrase. But this, too, is a flip-flop. As a landlord in the early 1980s, seeking to force out elderly tenants in rent-controlled apartments so that he could build more expensive units, Trump forbade residents from putting up a Christmas tree or Christmas decorations.

Why does this matter?

  • Christmas is not about serving a president's political agenda--and neither is Kwanzaa or any other holiday.